Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) May 23, 2014
Dry mouth, according to an article by Mihir Patikar (“How to Defeat Bad Breath,” Lifehacker, May 21, 2014 http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/05/how-to-defeat-bad-breath-once-and-for-all/), is the “most common cause of bad breath.” Leading dental hygienist and health educator Shirley Gutkowski agrees but warns that in addition to causing bad breath, dry mouth leads to tooth decay and can be an early symptom of dehydration and Sjogren’s syndrome. Dry mouth, Gutkowski believes, should be taken far more seriously
Gutkowski made her comments in an interview n the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio show (March 14, 2014). During the interview, Gutkowski discussed the causes and results of dry mouth, and described several tips for prevention.
Shirley Gutkowski, RDH and BSDH is a practicing dental hygienist, host of Cross Link Radio and a frequent lecturer, blogger and writer on dental health and prevention.
The globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show, with host Sharon Kleyne, is heard on the VoiceAmerica Variety and Health and Wellness Channels, and on Apple iTunes. Kleyne is Founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, a research, technology and product development center, and the world’s only company specializing in fresh water, atmosphere and health. Natures Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center’s global signature product.
It takes a 70-percent drop in saliva production for most people to even notice that their mouth is too dry, according to Gutkowski. That can makes early detection difficult. Since dry mouth may signal a variety of health issues, all of which are far more easily treated when caught early, early detection of dry mouth – and immediate remedial action – can be critical.
The most reliable early detection method, Gutkowski explains, is a saliva test performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. According to Gutkowski, most dentists do not routinely administer this test or query patients about dry mouth symptoms.
Low saliva production is the earliest warning sign for several autoimmune diseases, Gutkowski reports. These diseases include Sjograns syndrome, in which the mouth, eyes and joints lose moisture, resulting in severe chronic discomfort. If not caught early, the presence of one autoimmune disease can trigger several other autoimmune diseases.
Dry mouth can also be a symptom of dehydration or loss of body water, says Gutkowski. Dehydration can be caused by strenuous activity, not dinking enough water, stress, age, illness and certain medications.
Saliva, says Gutkowski, is a remarkable substance. In addition to water, saliva contains electrolytes, enzymes, proteins and antibodies. Antibodies fight bacteria, which are the cause of tooth decay. When saliva production is compromised, bacteria levels increase and the risk of tooth decay and other mouth disorders greatly increases.
Gutkowski and Kleyne’s suggestions to avoid dry mouth:
Drink at least eight full glasses of pure water per day, in addition to all other fluid intake. Drink the first two glasses upon awakening in the morning. Diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables, minimize processed foods and avoid sugar. Brush teeth and tongue in the morning and after eating. And finally, if there is any reason at all to suspect the presence of dry mouth, be sure to inform your dentist.
Gutkowski and Kleyne explain that the body and mouth naturally dehydrate at night, during which bacteria can build up on the tongue. That’s why a morning drink of water, and tongue brushing, are important. Gutkowski notes that not every kind of sugar is bad for teeth but most of them are.